‘Safe, comfortable, convenient’: The push for cleaner transportation in Manitoba

Manitobans have recently been turning to greener transportation options.

Mark Cohoe, executive director of Bike Winnipeg, said cycling popularity has recently jumped in Winnipeg.

“We heard there was about a 50 per cent increase in the number of people biking during the pandemic,” Cohoe said.

The City of Winnipeg said there are 2,670 km of sidewalks and 388 km of dedicated cycling lanes in Winnipeg.

Bike Winnipeg said a big driver for biking is the environmental benefit.

”There is nothing better than biking, right? It’s a zero-emission vehicle,” Cohoe said.

A 2021 climate action, Manitoba’s Road to Resilience, said 42 per cent of Manitoba’s climate pollution came from transportation transmissions in 2018.

Curt Hull, the lead writer and project director at Climate Change Connection, said close to 60 per cent of transportation emissions need to be cut by 2030.

”It is important for all of us to be aware of our emissions; every liter of gasoline that we burn,” Hull said in an interview with CTV News Winnipeg.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a new emissions reduction plan, looking to phase out gas-powered personal vehicles.

Hull said the switch to electric power will save money at the pump and the cost of buying electric cars is also going down.

“Those two cost curves are predicted to cross in the near future –probably in 2023,” Hull said. “That is what I’ve been seeing.”

A statement from Manitoba’s environment, climate, and parks department said there is a growing number of public charging stations.

”The province is taking action on emission reductions across all sectors, and Manitoba has identified electric vehicles as a key opportunity to reduce transportation emissions,” the emailed statement said.

The City of Winnipeg is updating its Transportation Master Plan 2050.

“Walking and biking are key components of the plan, and that the plan is being developed to specifically align with the climate action plan and emissions reduction goals set by the City and the Province,” an emailed statement from the City said.

Cohoe said, “we really need the network to get us from A to B from our doorstep to our destination. Safe, comfortable, convenient, direct.”

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